What’s next for UK Brexit path?

Associated Press


Prime Minister Theresa May stepped down Friday as leader of Britain’s Conservative Party after admitting failure in her attempt to withdraw the country from the European Union. She will remain as a caretaker prime minister for a few weeks while the party picks a successor.

A look at what happens next:

Britain’s next leader will be chosen by the 313 lawmakers and about 160,000 members of the Conservative Party.

Nominations for party leader will close Monday afternoon. So far, 11 lawmakers have said they will run.

The favorite – at least on betting markets – is Boris Johnson, a former foreign secretary and leader of the 2016 referendum campaign to leave the EU.

His rivals include supporters of “hard Brexit,” such as Dominic Raab and Ester McVey, who are determined to leave the EU on the scheduled date of Oct. 31, even if it means a rocky no-deal Brexit.

Also in the running are figures such as Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove, who say they can renegotiate the pullout agreement with the EU to get better terms.

The EU insists it will not reopen the deal.

After hearing pitches from all the contenders early next week, Conservative lawmakers will vote by secret ballot Thursday. Any candidates who don’t get at least 5 percent have to drop out. Further rounds will take place June 18, 19 and 20 if needed, with the least-popular candidate eliminated each time.

The final two candidates will meet in a runoff that will be decided by mail by the country’s 160,000 Conservative Party members. The winner will be announced the week of July 22.

The winner will become Britain’s prime minister – but it’s unclear for how long.

The opposition Labour Party has said it could call a no-confidence vote in the government immediately, before Parliament breaks up for its summer recess at the end of July.

If the government loses, Britain will be headed for a snap election within weeks.

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